Fifty years ago, being a successful dad meant feeding and clothing your children, keeping a roof over their heads, and helping them learn a trade or get an education.
Fifty years before that, most Irish fathers would have regarded themselves as successful if they'd just managed the feeding, clothing and housing - for many, education was an unattainable luxury.
Today, not only does Irish society expect parents to feed, clothe and mind their children, but also to educate them to third or even postgraduate level, and to produce emotionally resilient adults able to negotiate a social-media-driven world.
To be a father in 2020, then, means navigating issues that previous generations could not have imagined. Should you actively think about the importance of your role in your children's lives, or just get on with it? If you have sons, do you need to worry about 'making them into men', and if you have daughters, do you wonder how to help them grow up to be strong, independent women? What exactly does it mean to be a modern Irish father?
Let's look at some figures. When it comes to the number of dads in Ireland and their role in families, the most recent statistics available are from the last census. In 2016, there were more than 673,000 fathers in Ireland. Of those, a whopping 568,317 were part of a married couple with children, 75,587 were part of a cohabiting couple with children, and only 29,705 were one-parent fathers with children.
While marriage is no longer the defining institution of parenthood, it's clear it's still enormously strong in Irish society. Those figures are likely to have changed in the intervening four years (the next census will be held in April 2021) but for the vast majority of Irish dads, looking after children still means being part of a family unit where that role is shared with a wife or partner.
Ben Marquez Keenan, a 35-year-old games developer living and working in Galway, is one of them. For him, looking after his son Ari is very much a 50-50 endeavour with his wife, Nathalie, who he has been with for 10 years.
Born in Lisbon while the couple were living there, Ari is now almost two. For Marquez Keenan, his own upbringing has been a big factor in his parenting style. "Childcare isn't just about work," he says. "It's also about bonding, and I think dads in the past missed out a lot on getting to know their kids as babies."
Marquez Keenan's own father was a musician, meaning he was usually around during the day and mostly worked in the evening. "Because of that, it was totally normal for me to see him doing housework and helping with childcare. When I went to bed, he went out to work, playing music. I always had the idea that a lot of other dads would just meet their kids in the evening when they got home from work for an hour or two," he says.
"Their dads weren't around as much and a lot of the parenting was left to their mums. I definitely don't want that for Ari. I've been lucky in that for a lot of his life so far, I've been working from home, so I've seen a lot of him as a baby and a toddler."
People give lots of advice to expectant parents - things like, 'Get lots of sleep while you can,' and so on; it's meant to be funny but it's not really all that helpful.
Having a strong relationship with his baby son was really important to him and he feels fortunate to have been able to have that relationship when many parents have little choice but to be out of the house for work.
"I love hanging out with Ari, but I'm conscious that, depending on career choices and how stuff goes in the next couple of years, things may change. I haven't thought too much about the future, but myself and Nathalie have a modern relationship, in that we try to do things equally, as much as is practically possible," he says.
"But like a lot of people, we're still figuring it out. There are still grey areas and assumptions we both fall into, but for the most part it comes down to helping each other as much as possible."
What advice would he give to other first-time fathers like himself?
"Maybe go a bit easier on yourself. It's a massive adjustment. People give lots of advice to expectant parents - things like, 'Get lots of sleep while you can,' and so on; it's meant to be funny but it's not really all that helpful," he says.
"I'd also say to take as much time to soak it up as possible. I can't remember all the other things that were fighting for my attention when Ari was small, but it's mad to have this big bruiser of a toddler now and look back at photos of him as a tiny baby. I'm really grateful for all the photos and videos we took. None of the things that worried me at the time were all that important compared to being with him. It's important to lean into the experience and really savour it, because time goes by very quickly."
For gay men, the right to marry someone of their own sex and adopt children has been slow coming. It should go without saying that such men have always played an important role in the lives of families - as brothers, uncles, nephews and godfathers - but the ability to form families of their own that are recognised by the State is something quite new.
Civil partnership was recognised in 2010, while same-sex marriage has been legal in Ireland since 2015. The most recent official figures available for the number of gay couples in Ireland are also from the 2016 census, held shortly after marriage equality was enshrined in law. At that time there were 6,034 same-sex couples - a jump of almost 50pc since the 2011 census - and of those, 57pc were male. It's likely that the numbers of gay couples will increase again in next year's census.
Gay couples are as varied as straight ones, and not every same-sex couple wants to have children. But for those who do, the path is slowly becoming clearer, whether it's through adoption and fostering or through biologically fathering a child.
Gearóid Kenny Moore (45) has a different yet equally modern family - he's raising twins with his husband Séamus in their home in north Co Dublin. The pair, who entered into a civil partnership before marrying in 2016, started trying to have children five years ago. Even with the rapid changes seen in Irish society in recent years, they admit they did have some reservations about how their decision to start a family would be greeted.
Initially, the couple looked at adoption, but that is "exceptionally difficult" for a gay couple in Ireland, according to Kenny Moore.
"Most Irish people who try to adopt children actually do so in other countries, but most of those countries won't facilitate adoption to a gay couple, so that option was closed to us. Because of this, we eventually decided to have our family through surrogacy, initially in Canada," he says.
The couple chose Canada because surrogacy is fully supported in law there. In Ireland, there is no legislation to cover any of the legal issues that can arise from surrogacy.
"We didn't feel comfortable putting ourselves in that situation in Ireland, but we met a lovely surrogate in Canada and started the process through IVF. Unfortunately, she was unable to become pregnant.
"Eventually, we begged, borrowed and sold our belongings in order to raise enough money to do it again. This time, a lovely woman I know in London agreed to be our surrogate, on the condition that she wouldn't have a relationship with the child.
"Both of us really wanted kids, probably because we're both from big families and were brought up in noisy houses with a lot of life in them. We were both very close to our families," he continues.
"I lived on a farm, and my childhood memories are of being out on the road, playing hurling and soccer with my cousins. There were five kids in the house and my father's mother lived with us for a period. There were always people in our house, and Séamus is from a very similar family, so maybe that's the common link."
I think nobody cares as long as the kids are happy and well looked after.
How did their families take the news that they were planning to start a family?
"Amazingly well. You wouldn't believe the level of support we got. We kept the struggle to become parents, and the whole IVF process, very quiet while it was going on. Only our closest family and friends knew but all through that they were incredibly supportive. All of them felt we would be good parents," says Kenny Moore.
"We live in a typical estate, which is very nice, but also very normal. There are people from all walks of life here and since our children were born, nobody has expressed anything other than positivity towards us or our kids. People come up to us all the time to ask about the kids when we're out and about - sometimes it can take twice as long to get anywhere or do anything because people want to talk to you, meet the twins and wish you well."
The journey to parenthood for any gay couple is by its nature more complicated than for straight people.
"There were loads of times in the journey where each of us felt like giving up. But the reality is that, for many straight couples, having children isn't always straightforward either. It's only when you've been through the experience that others really open up and tell you about their issues," he says.
"Lots of people have had that experience of raising money for IVF and then not having it work but they don't often talk about it. It's kind of a taboo subject, an unspoken thing."
A bigger issue for Kenny Moore as a man and as a father is how being gay will affect how society sees his family. Will his children be impacted negatively, or do we now live in a society progressive enough that it simply doesn't matter?
"So far we've had no problems with people accepting our family - but will that always be the case? That's a good question. Before the twins were born, I knew Séamus and I would be good dads, but we didn't really know what Ireland would think of us. We do stand out, and there's no getting away from that," he says.
"I have gay friends with older kids and none of them have reported major issues, and certainly I've seen nothing here in Ireland to make me think that there will be a big issue. When we registered the kids at the local school, nobody blinked an eyelid. When we're out and about, people are fantastic. In rural Ireland, where our families are from, nobody is in any way negative. I think nobody cares as long as the kids are happy and well looked after."
Single-parent families may no longer stand out in Ireland, but for divorced and separated fathers, parenting their children can still be a struggle. "Chewed up and spat out" is how David, a divorced father of two children under five, describes how he felt after going to the courts to secure visitation rights.
"My situation mirrors a lot of separated fathers in Ireland," he says. "Things were quite bitter. I wasn't able to see the kids, so we ended up in court. I was only seeing them every second weekend and I fought in court for a number of years to be able to see them every weekend."
David (who asked for his surname not to be used in the interests of his children) considers himself lucky to have secured visitation rights, but believes that the Irish family court system no longer reflects the society it functions in.
"I'd never been discriminated against in my life before going to court. Nobody had ever made judgements about me without knowing me until then," he says. "I had to justify and prove to the judge that I was a good father. There was no automatic presumption of that. I did eventually get visitation, but the courts do favour women more."
David doesn't see this as the fault of women, but of the system. The courts, he says, need to change to reflect the changing nature of Irish fatherhood.
"We live in a more equal society now, where people parent their kids equally, but the courts don't reflect that. I was just lucky that I was actually married going to court. If I hadn't been, I would not be seeing my children now. Unmarried fathers have no rights," he says.
Many separated and divorced parents will be familiar with the routine of the weekly pick-up and drop-off of kids visiting for the weekends. It is tough, and it is not enough, David believes.
"Being a dad is about the routine stuff as well as the days out. It's about being there to read them a bedtime story and to comfort them when they're upset. Just seeing your kids on the weekends isn't enough," he says.
"Solicitors and the courts use this line about 'quality rather than quantity of time' and I disagree with that. You have to be part of the child's life - you can't be a part-time father. It should be about what's best for the kids, not what suits maybe one of the parents."
Teaching kids to work through their emotions and to be mindful isn't something that was around when we were kids.
For 45-year-old Colin Bohanna, helping his 10-year-old daughter, Ellie, to treasure both her Irish and Korean heritage - as well as fostering her emotional resilience - is key. Bohanna is married to Sook Kim, who he met 18 years ago when she was working as a waitress in Dublin. Raising a child with two distinct cultural identities has, Bohanna says, taught him a great deal.
"Ellie proudly considers herself to be both Irish and Korean, and we encourage that in her. We've been to Korea with her five or six times and she goes to Korean school off the South Circular Road in Dublin every Saturday to learn the language, as well as Korean cultural activities like dance and music," he says.
"She definitely identifies as Korean, particularly when it comes to food - it's part of how she expresses her cultural identity. We're a big food-loving family and food is an important part of our lives. Ellie's taste buds are split down the middle - some days she wakes up and wants an Irish-style breakfast, and some days she wants rice and seaweed and kimchi. It's great, because it means when we go out to eat, it's a lot easier to get her to try stuff.
Bohanna and his wife try to share parenting duties equally, something which has caused bemusement among some of the family's Korean relatives.
"The first time we went to Korea, Ellie was about six months old. I remember changing her nappy and none of the men and women in the room could believe it - that's not part of a father's role there at all. But to me it made total sense... why wouldn't I?" he says.
With practical tasks like nappy changing now in the past, a major focus for Bohanna is helping his daughter understand how to process her emotions. It's a role he takes very seriously.
"Teaching kids to work through their emotions and to be mindful isn't something that was around when we were kids. Our parents' generation just didn't do that, but it's something I'm very conscious of with my daughter, and I've learned a huge amount by doing it," he says.
"I have a great relationship with my parents today, and in particular with my dad, but I was hard work when I was a teenager. I pushed all of his buttons as often as I possibly could. We clashed a lot, I think because we were so similar."
Today Bohanna is "exceptionally close" to his father and describes him as one of his heroes. "He left school when he was 14 to work when his own father died. I didn't appreciate what my mum and dad had done for us until I was a parent myself. He was delighted when I admitted that to him a while ago."
The issue of a man contributing to parenting a young girl and helping to form her personality as a woman is something that Bohanna has spent time thinking about.
"We're exceptionally close; she's definitely daddy's girl. I've watched a lot of my friends who have had kids before and I've learned a lot from them about what the challenges are in raising a strong, independent woman," he says.
"I grew up with three brothers and my mum and dad, so I had no reference really about women other than my mum. I had to lean on my friends to really learn what the differences were, and what the challenges were in raising a girl."
Would he parent Ellie differently if she were a boy? Are there specific things that only a mother can teach and that a father can't?
"I've never thought about that. I think you have to parent the gender of the child as well as the person they are. The reality is that women are viewed differently than men by society and there are different challenges for them in the world," he says.
"But I think even if she was a boy, I'd raise her to be the same kind of person as she is now, which is someone who is considerate and caring and attentive to the world around them.
"Having integrity and honesty is crucial. Society is much harder on women and places unfair expectations on them. It's important to raise them to be resilient, and to resist the worst aspects of societal expectation and Instagram culture."
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Father's Day 2020 has arrived - after a year that has been challenging on many levels for lots of us. The last year has seemed, in a way, to have both whizzed by, and, bizarrely, crawled along - all at the same time!